Earlier that morning we had missed sighting the tigress 'Paarwali' (so named - she who lives across of the river) during our morning safari. She has 'just crossed the road gone down in the bushes', we were told. An oft heard phrase! Quite disappointing.
Later that afternoon, by the time we reached Sambar Road, where she had been sighted earlier in the day, there was already a line of up jeeps. Ours was the last Jeep, at the tail end.
The wait for her to emerge began. An hour and more passed. While waiting, we saw this 'one antlered' Sambar deer strolling along, eating grass and leaves. Clearly, the other antler must have broken during a fight. He turned around and looked at us curiously.
|The Sambar deer turned and glanced at us curiously.|
|The thirsty Sambar deer turns to go down to the river.|
|The unsuspecting Sambar moved towards the waters edge, while Paarwali watched him. Can you spot her?|
With blind faith, and blind eyes! (that is what happened to me, when the setting sun was shining right in my eyes), I kept my camera focused at the spot pointed out by Wasim. Mind you, I still could not see the tigress.
The wait, the tension and the excitement was building up. In the next few minutes, this is what happened.
|As the unsuspecting Sambar moved closer to the waters edge, Paarwali watched her intently from her hiding place. Since she was underwater, there was no smell to warn the Sambar deer.|
|The deer moves closer. The tigress makes another smart move .... Now you see her now you don't! Where has she gone?|
|A few moments later - WOW !! - from behind the bigger boulder - a sudden BIG splash!|
|The Sambar sees or hears the splash, and within split seconds turns and runs.|
|Paarwali gives chase ....|
|..... in the water she is not as fast as on land ....|
|..... the deer on land, has an advantage ....|
|.... still being chased, the Sambar runs faster and gains distance ...|
|..... while Paarwali watches in despair, realising her sumptuous meal is getting away - she gives up the chase.|
|She realises, she misjudged her timing. She has a look of frustration. So near and yet so far.|
|She smacks her lips at the lost treat.|
|Ah! well ... tomorrow is another day, she seems to think, with her tongue hanging out.|
|Totally disappointed, she turns and moves away in the other direction.|
|The lucky Sambar, now at a safe distance from the tigress lives to see another day. He trots to the river's edge and has a drink of cool water to quench his thirst.|
“Never stop exploring... with Mother Nature by your side, the possibilities are endless.”
― Cheryl Aguiar,
(Though I could not get clear and sharp pictures, thankfully I did manage to capture on camera the whole experience that unfolded before our eyes).